How To Adjust Your Bow Sight

Friday, March 6, 2015
This is a very popular question with new archers.

Let's say that your bow is already set up with a nock point, rest and fixed pin sights. You can be shooting either fingers or a mechanical release in this situation.  Place a target at 10 yards. Aim and focus your pin, dot or crosshairs directly on the center of the bullseye. Shoot one arrow. Look to see where it hit the target—was it high or low? Wherever it hit leave it there and go ahead and shoot two more arrows while still aiming at the center of the bullseye. Do the second and third arrows hit right next to your first? If they are not directly on the bullseye, then we need to move our pin.

sighting in a bowYou will want to "chase” the arrow with your pin. So, let's say that you were hitting high above the bullseye. You will hold the bow in front of you as if you were going to shoot it, with the lower limbs in your lap. Use an allen wrench to move your pin UP on your sight's elevation scale since that is where you were hitting. Some sights are very touchy and don't require much movement to change where you are hitting the target while others may require moving the entire housing of the sight to get to where you need to be. Move your pin gradually.  Sometimes it is a good idea to mark where you were initially so if your pin does slide easily you know where you started from. Shoot and "chase” your arrows until you have the elevation correct.

The next step is for you to move your windage (left and right). Again, chase your arrow as you did with your elevation. If your arrows are hitting to the left of the bullseye you will want to move your sight using the windage scale to the left. Your top pin should be set for either 10 or 20 yards. If you are a youth, 10 yards for sure since most of your targets will be from 10-20 yards for tournaments and leagues. If you have a top 10 yard pin then your next pin down will be 20, then 30 and so on. With this type of fixed pin set-up if you judge a target for 15 yards—you will "gap shoot” your target by aiming the space between your 10 and 20 yard pins over your bullseye or vital. If the target is 18 yards then you will hold your 20 yard pin just a little bit low from the spot you are aiming at. A fixed pin set-up is great for hunting—as you can change your yardage by raising or lowering your bow arm.

I hope this helped you understand how to adjust your bow sights and I wish you the best in your target shooting or hunting adventures!